Earthquake Disaster Preparation Tips
Oregon is located in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. What does that mean? It means our state, as well as Washington and California, are subject to the threat of major earthquakes. Did you know that Oregon is the tenth most likely state to experience a quake of magnitude 3.5 or more? Even these smaller trembles can damage your home and belongings. Learn more about Earthquake Insurance.
Before an Earthquake
- Prepare an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
- Fasten shelves securely and place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
- Breakable items should be stored in low, closed cabinets with a latch.
- Heavy wall items should be attached securely and away from beds, couches, or anywhere people might be underneath.
- Brace overhead light fixtures and top-heavy lamps.
- Have defective electrical wiring and leaky gas connections repaired by a qualified professional.
- Secure water heater, refrigerator, furnace and gas appliances with strapping or bolting. If recommended by your gas company, have an automatic vibration shut-off valve installed.
- Keep cracks in ceiling or foundation repaired and check often for structural defects.
- Store weed killers, pesticides, and flammable products on bottom shelves in closed cabinets with a latch.
- Locate the safest spot in each room under a sturdy table or against inside wall. No doorways.
- Hold family earthquake drills: Drop, cover and hold on.
During an Earthquake
- If you are in a car, pull over and stop and set the park brake.
- If you are in bed, turn face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
- If you are outdoors, stay outdoors and away from buildings.
- If you are inside, avoid doorways and seek shelter under a table if possible.
What Does Earthquake Insurance Cover?
Prepare an Emergency Kit
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for three days (both drinking and sanitation)
- Food, three-day supply, non-perishable. Have high energy food, such as dried fruit, nuts and granola bars, and food that does not require cooking.
- Battery or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Heating fuel. Refuel before you are empty. Fuel carriers may not reach you for days after a winter storm.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties (personal sanitation)
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local paper maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
- Make sure pets have plenty of food, water and shelter
Visit Ready.gov for more information on preparing, maintaining and storing your emergency kit.
Develop a Family Communication Plan
- Your family may not be together, plan how you will contact one another.
- Create a contact card for all family members and keep them in a wallet, purse, backpack, briefcase, etc.
- Check emergency plans with your children’s day care or school.
- Identify a non-local friend or relative household members can notify when they are safe, they may be in a better position to communicate between separated families.
- If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone. If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often check your ICE listings in order to get a hold of someone you know.
- Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.
We care about your safety! Please let us know if we can do anything, we are here for you. Please take care, heed the warnings and stay safe!